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Hunt deer antlers for prizes at Martin Park Nature Center

Gazette staff January 3rd, 2008


Families can horn in on some fun this weekend during a hunt for unburied treasure: discarded deer antlers! At 3 p.m. Saturday, Martin Park Nature Center at 5000 W. Memorial will host its periodic "Winter Treasure Hunt" for all ages.

"There's a certain time of the year when white-tailed deer drop their antlers, so by Jan. 5, we're hoping that most of the male deer in the park have dropped theirs," explained Casey Wieczorek, assistant naturalist of Martin Park. "So we'll just go out as a big group to an area where we know the deer hang out, but the trails don't have access to, at the back area of the park."

Antlers are used by male deer to fight each other throughout the fall, in order to attract potential mates, according to Wieczorek.

"And then this time of year," she said, "they're not breeding any more, so they drop their antlers."

Prizes will be awarded to the person who finds the biggest antlers and who finds the most pairs of antlers. All those found will be used in the nature center as educational tools.

"It's a good way to learn about the natural history of deer and it gets you out of the house at a time of year when people kinda feel stuck or boring," Wieczorek said.

The cost is $2 per person. To register or for more information, call 755-0676.

"Rod Lott

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